Tempted by a website template? Don't do it!
Posted on 10th September 2018 at 20:12 by Phil Revill
Choosing a website template from a platform like WordPress or Wix can be tempting for the small business owner. After all, there are some advantages to taking this route. The main one is cost, as templates tend to be cheap (or even free). Even if you get a web designer to customise the template for you, this will cost less than having a site designed from scratch.
On the other hand, if you have some basic design skills, you can probably build a template website yourself. It’s fairly quick and easy, after all. But unfortunately, that’s pretty much where the benefits end and the disadvantages begin. Let’s take a closer look.
You won’t stand out from the crowd
Yes, templates can be customised to some extent, as noted above. But that doesn’t take away the facts that (a) lots of other businesses will be using the same template and (b) unless you or your designer are very good at customisation, your website will scream ‘I’m a template!’ to everyone who visits it.
Not a problem, you might think…but you may be wrong. After all, would you want to buy from a business that settles for the bare minimum and is happy for their website to look the same as 50 of their competitors’? It doesn’t say much about your commitment to your brand, or to providing a great customer experience.
As we talked about in a recent case study, it’s really important for most businesses that their website genuinely reflects the nature of the products and services provided. It’s all about brand personality and creating the best possible impression at first glance.
The usual design process is turned on its head
This leads on from the point just made.
When a website (or any other piece of marketing collateral) is designed from scratch, the process usually starts with a conversation about your branding and requirements. The designer will then create something that meets your needs and showcases your brand effectively.
With a template, the process happens in reverse.
Your company’s personality and requirements are shoe-horned into something that, all too often, simply doesn’t fit. So you’re limiting your ability to present your brand in the best possible light, which could cost you dearly in the longer-term.
Many templates are fairly (or very) inflexible
In a lot of cases, what you see with a template is what you get.
You might be able to add extra features such as a slider to the home page but otherwise, there’s a risk that your pages will all look much of a muchness.
Functionality is likely to be limited with free or low-cost templates, too.
For example, you might not be able to embed videos, have an online calendar or blog, or build up a database of contact details.
You may be able to add these features using plug-ins or widgets, but there could be a cost involved – and they’re often not very good.
There might be no technical support
This isn’t always the case. But you could find yourself out on a limb if there’s a technical problem with your website.
Of course, you could ask a web developer to try and fix it for you, but this may not be possible – and if it is, probably won’t be cheap.
Your website is one of your most important business assets, so it makes sense to invest in a supported service like it’seeze Web Design Nottingham, where we’re always on hand to help if a problem crops up.
SEO can be problematic
Many templates give you the opportunity to optimise your site by adding in meta data such as page titles and descriptions in the back end. That’s great. But what about the graphics and/or stock imagery used in the template design?
Often, you’ll have no control over optimising these and they’ll contain their own coding and meta data.
So even if the site looks OK (i.e. the graphics and images reflect the nature of your business), Google may not pick up on this, pushing you right down the search engine rankings.
Still not sure? Just ask it’seeze!
Here at it’seeze, we’re passionate about the benefits of using our services. Every site we work on is professionally designed from the ground up, mobile-friendly to boost your search engine rankings, and fully-supported by our technical team. Our sites are also easy to update, and you’ll receive ongoing local advice from your dedicated account manager.
If you’d like to know more, contact it’seeze Web Design Nottingham today to find out how working with us could boost your business. We offer a free health-check of your existing website and a no-obligation demo of how our unique web platform works, so you can decide if it’s right for you.
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